Deepika Padukone has the looks and attitude, and she is the highest paid heroine in Bollywood today. It’s a good place to be at 27. As of January 2013, the actress’ worth was estimated at Rs 25 crores, with the most number of endorsements (Tissot watches to Luxor pens). Yet, Padukone is astoundingly self-effacing, politically correct and traditional.
The ability to slip in and out of character is what makes Deepika the reigning queen of the box office, with four back-to-back box office hits (Cocktail, Race 2, Yeh Jawaani Yeh Deewani and Chennai Express). Her next release, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Ram-Leela set in the backdrop of Gujarat, where she plays the spunky and passionate Leela to Ranveer Singh’s Ram, is proof of her ascent to the big league of performing actresses.
All work, no play
Five years is too brief a period to find a footing in Bollywood. Most of our superstars swear that the first few years are about learning the ropes. But Deepika’s career has not seen too many twists and turns. When we talk about her racing far ahead of her contemporaries, she laughs, “It’s obviously a nice feeling. I don’t take these things seriously. It just means that I need to work harder.” But then slacking off is one thing Deepika has never been accused of. She has let that image slip only a few times, one of them being the famous Koffee with Karan episode, where her cheeky response to a question about her ex-boyfriend was, “I would gift Ranbir a condom.”
Her Love Aaj Kal director, Imtiaz Ali, has a story about how he was caught off guard when he saw an otherwise prim and proper Deepika jumping up and down to catch his attention, which eventually prompted him to cast her as Veronica in Cocktail. Padukone quickly defends herself, “I know a lot of people say that I am politically correct, and I think too much before I speak. But that’s a result of my upbringing. I did try to be honest about my relationships in the past but that was blown out of proportion. So, now I am more cautious.”
Dubai: Here’s your chance to find out if the crackling chemistry that you saw in the trailers of Ram Leela is real or not. tabloid! can reveal that Bollywood stars Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh will be in Dubai this Sunday to promote their romance, along with their director Sanjay Leela Bhansali.
“After their press meet, they will head to Juice World at Al Riqqa in Deira at 7.30pm. If time permits, they will also visit a mall. The details are being worked out,” Rashid Saeed, managing director of Essar Events, told us. For the meet-and-greet at Juice World, contact 050-3466151. Watch this space for more
It is rather overwhelming when nearly 17 per cent of the world’s population knows you by your first name. The feeling is heightened when your last movie broke every Bollywood record. For Deepika Padukone, life has certainly changed. “It’s a great feeling, I must admit. Also, most importantly, it has been a satisfying experience. I have made so many sacrifices to get to this point in life and I really, really hope this stays” says Deepika, who’s currently shooting for the ‘little’ movie called Finding Fanny Fernandes, in Goa.
“I wouldn’t call the movie little. Finding Fanny is a quirky flick and it’s being shot in English and Konkani. And I’ve been having a very good time on the shoot.”
Which brings us the next point. Deepika’s infamous Bollywood schedule. “You know, I was juggling a minimum of three movies at one point in time. There was Cocktail, Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani and Ram-Leela. Cocktail was so exciting that it drained me completely, but I’m in the show business and I can’t stop. I did take a break though and took my family to Europe for a holiday… but I had to cut it short as I had to report for Happy New Year,” she says.
Strangely, Deepika says that long breaks make her feel guilty. “I then feel I’m not working enough. I just can’t take a long vacation of two months or more. There’s that ‘check-up’ call from the family every day. That’s it.”
But amid this rush, she finds time to pursue interests she’s had since school. “I love to cook. I would come back from school and then fire up the oven for all kinds of bakes,” she says.
Deepika Padukone has been pretty much living out of suitcases for close to a couple of years now and while one would have thought that this may turn out to be a little too overwhelming for her, she isn’t showing it. However the fact remains that between ‘Cocktail’ and ‘Kochadaiiyaan’, she has as many as half a dozen films already and now she is making it seven in a row with ‘Finding Fanny Fernandes’.
Since she stays alone in Mumbai, one would have expected that such frantic travelling would be taking a toll on her. Still, the young woman is trying her level best to ensure that everything is in place as far as her household activites are concerned and even during her brief visits in the city, everything is in order.
“Even as a single working woman, Deepika likes to personally look into her household chores. Though she has been juggling between projects for last couple of years and extensively shooting outdoors, Deepika is still managing her house very effectively. Right from paying close attention to things like paying her bills, making sure important things are available, decor at home and other house hold things, she is on the top of affairs,” informs a friend of the actress.
Though she can afford to appoint someone to look after these things, Deepika does it all as it acts as a detoxication exercise for her, after she takes a break at home from her shooting schedules.
“One of her indulgences is aromatic candles,” the friend continues, “She absolutely loves them and makes sure to lit them up whenever home. She loves the very fragrance of it as it rejuvenates her. In the middle of her stressful schedules, she feels that the aroma candles do well in uplifting her mood and calm her down.”
No wonder, when she was recently in the city for a few days to promote ‘Ram Leela’, she made sure of two things. One, to have an abundance of candles around her and two, have every household chore being taken care of.
Quips the friend, “When actresses around her are partying all night, she prefers to retire to bed soon and get up early to manage her little world. This is her idea to feel at peace with herself.”